Redbridge ward

May 6th, 2015
Summary: Elections to Southampton City Council in May 2015
Polling date: Thursday 7th May 2015
Ward:
Candidates
(by surname):
  • Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP)) 
  • Richard JAMES (Green Party)
  • Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party)
  • Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party)
  • Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat)
  • Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

Questions for Redbridge ward candidates (8 questions)

Jump to question:  2   3   4   5     

# Question 1

What experience do you have of cycling in the Southampton area?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) These are my personal opinions rather than a reflection of Green Party policy. My experience of cycling in Southampton. I use my bike principally as a form of transport for commuting to work, running errands and doing the shopping. A lot of these journeys have taken place on some of the busier roads in and around the city and so I have witnessed and/or been subjected to a wide variety conditions and behaviour from other road users. In the main I would say that most road users are considerate of others, but there is a significant minority who aren’t. This can range from actions showing they are not properly aware or caring about other road users eg passing too close when overtaking someone on a bike, through abuse eg sounding car horn or shouting abuse to actually aggression eg using the car to deliberately intimidate or force a bicycle off the road. Where I have cycled along quieter residential streets the issue can often be on street parking creating a long stretch of narrow single lane roadway where cars will drive at you expecting you to get out of their way. I also think that there are number of examples of cycle infrastructure in place that really are not helpful to cyclists by being too narrow, not well signed, or not convenient to enter or exit.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat)
To begin, I’d rather give my own opinions than official Party policy. Whilst at University I used my bike for everything, from getting to lectures, carrying shopping, and simply riding off down a country lane to see where it went. I use my bike a lot less now, and a lot less than I’d like to. My experiences of cycling in Southampton have been the same as anywhere else – for the most part, it’s safe and relatively pleasant, but there’s always someone who juts their car into the cycle lane when waiting to pull out of a junction, or doesn’t leave enough space when overtaking, for example. I’ve found Southampton to be no better and no worse than anywhere else.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 2

We believe that 20mph should be the norm for local streets in residential areas (as distinct from main connecting roads). 20mph would: greatly encourage walking and cycling; improve the quality of life in an area for residents; and would not delay car journeys significantly (because only the start/end of a journey would be affected). Do you agree that 20mph should become the norm for local streets in Southampton?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I definitely support 20mph limits. There was a trial set up in our area which it was recently announced would not be extended due to being deemed to be unsuccessful. It was disappointing to learn this but not unsurprising as I saw no evidence of any enforcement of the new limits.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I live in Redbridge, which as you may know was the trial area for a ’20mph zone’. I supported the move in the initial council consultation, and was disheartened to hear later that the scheme would not be extended to other residential areas of the city. There are some residential areas where a 20mph limit for road users would be completely appropriate, and I would support any scheme that had the backing of the local community.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 3

11,000 people took part in last year’s Sky Ride in Southampton. If you are elected what would you do to encourage these same people to cycle regularly in the city.

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I have not been on a Sky Ride myself but I have been on smaller organised group rides with the CTC. Group riding as a weekend leisure activity is very different from riding solo during the week travelling to work or going to the shops. Many people say they would not feel confident to ride in traffic on their own. Greater provision of cycle training and a mentoring scheme where volunteers would accompany new cyclists on their regular journeys until they have built up confidence could address this concern. For the school run I would like to see if cycling buses can be set up similar to walking bus schemes that have been set up elsewhere.
It would also be good to have a cycle-loan scheme giving people the opportunity to ride good quality utility bikes that they might otherwise consider too expensive to purchase.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I would like to see more dedicated cycle routes that connect population centres with the city and other key areas of employment and leisure. The roads can be a dangerous place for cyclists, as we’ve unfortunately witnessed too many times in recent years, so as well as cycle lanes as part of the main carriageway, I would welcome a segregated cycle network which may take the form of a cycleway divided from the road by a fence or curb, or shared pedestrian/bicycle routes where appropriate (such as that along Redbridge Road in my own patch).
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 4

How important do you consider the role of active travel (cycling and walking) in improving the air quality in the city and so avoid paying a large fine to the EU.

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I don’t really know what the overall impact of cycle journeys replacing car journeys would have on air quality, as I have not looked into the numbers. I would say that a more immediate and noticeable benefit would been seen in participating individuals improvement in health and fitness, and an environmental improvement from the roads being quieter and less crowded.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) Cycling and walking, thereby removing motor vehicles from the roads, is one way to tackle our air quality problems, but I wouldn’t want to encourage more people to walk or cycle along the A33 until we remove more of the road freight from the network, and put more containers on trains. Fewer polluting diesel lorries on the Western Approach to Southampton would help reduce air pollution, and reduce the number of other vehicles idling in traffic, which will have additional air pollution reduction benefits.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 5

London’s Mayor has launched plans for proper prioritisation of space for cycling in London, with a 15-mile substantially-segregated route by removing traffic lanes from cars, three ‘mini-Hollands’ and more. Would you and your party support a new London-style bike plan for Southampton?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) On some main routes segregated cycle lanes may be a very good thing. A properly planned scheme with clear benefits to all would get my support. The downside that I see with such schemes is that it might reinforce the idea that some people have that bicycles should not be allowed on roads at all. The long term aim has to be an attitude change in road user behaviour with more respect and consideration towards all road users and the rules we are all supposed to adhere to.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I’d like to reiterate that my views are not necessarily those of Southampton Liberal Democrats, but broadly speaking it is my view that cyclists are much more vulnerable road users than drivers, and so it’s not unreasonable to afford them greater protections, which could include those schemes suggested in the question. London already has an excellent public transport and cycling infrastructure which helps to keep private vehicle traffic down – I’m not convinced that Southampton would be well served by simply dropping this proposed London solution on our roads. A solution designed for our specific requirements, with sign-off from local stakeholders, would be my preferred way forward in Southampton.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 6

Do you believe that Dutch-quality cycle provision, with cycle tracks that are separate both from pedestrians and motor traffic and that have priority over side roads should be our aspiration and should a) be included within all new traffic schemes and b) be considered and consulted on for all modifications to existing schemes?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I think my answer to 5 applies here as well. Dutch quality road layouts work very well, but again it is road user behaviour that is key. In Holland, as in most of Europe, cycling is more widely accepted as mode of transport and is accorded a higher status than seems to be the case in the UK. Also much of Europe has presumed liability in cases where a motor vehicle collides with a bicycle or pedestrian.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I think I have partially answered this in previous answers, but in short I believe that measures such as cycle tracks that are separate both from pedestrians and motor traffic, phased traffic lights that give cyclists more time to cross busy junctions, and more toucan crossings instead of pelican crossings, should be considered for new traffic schemes and for modifications to existing schemes.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 7

Do you support our view that traffic policing, of all groups of road users (cyclists, drivers, etc), should become a greater police priority, and that this should be evidence-based, namely based on the relative levels of danger presented by each such group?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I would support more traffic policing. Disregard for the rules and ‘minor’ infringements seem to be accepted as the norm. Drivers casually exceeding the speed limit, parking on pavements, driving while using mobile phones and jumping red lights. And, yes people on bicycles jumping red lights, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding with no hands on the handlebars (sometimes while texting) and filtering at speed through narrow gaps. Pavement cycling is a difficult issue on one hand you can have a small child under adult supervision, on another an older child or teenager going at speed. There can also often be confusion about shared used paths. I support more enforcement but with the use of cautionary letters for minor infringements or near misses so as not to overload the court system. Prosecution or mandatory training for more serious offences and repeat minor offenders.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I think when someone makes the conscious choice to use their mobile phone whilst driving, or to speed past a school at 40mph, or to let go of the handlebars as they cycle through busy pedestrianised areas, they should rightly expect to be caught and punished appropriately. In my view, we should get to road-users and future road-users before they make those conscious decisions. Education on how to conduct oneself when in control of a machine with the capability to cause harm is, in my opinion, preferable to diverting police attentions to what many people wrongly see as ‘minor offences’. These views must be challenged, and education is the way to do that.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

# Question 8

Do you have any other general cycling-related comments or points? And what support have you given for cycling and walking, or sustainable transport more generally, in the recent past?

Colin Brendan HINGSTON (UK Independence Party (UKIP))  The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Richard JAMES (Green Party) I cannot think of any other comments to add. In the last few months I have been riding a Bafiets Long John cargo bike to take my daughter places and do the weekly shop now that I am the stay at home parent. This bike often attracts attention and people will stop and ask me about it. In any conversation I have about cycling I talk about the positives and try to suggest ideas to overcome any reservations someone might have about cycling as a form of transport.
Richard PALMER (The Conservative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Andrew Douglas POPE (Labour and Co-operative Party) The candidate has not responded to the survey.
Simon David STOKES (Liberal Democrat) I’d like to see a more integrated public transport network. Before I could drive, I used to commute to work on public transport. In one job, it took me almost three times as long to get to and from work than it would if I had driven, close to 4 hours of wasted time every day. We keep cutting back on public transport infrastructure, taking funding away from bus routes, removing train services, etc, and wonder why we can’t move on the roads in our cities or at major junctions like M27 J3 and J5. Cycling and walking are fantastic transport options if your home and workplace are fairly close together, but they’re just part of the overall transport picture.
Kieran Alistair Albert WILSON (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) The candidate has not responded to the survey.

Southampton Cycling Campaign is a non-partisan body. All candidates are given an equal opportunity to submit their views.

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